From managing finances to communicating with clients, technology plays a vital role in the daily operations of your business. But, how often do you audit the software assets that power these functions? Are you maximizing the benefits of your tech stack? Or, are under-performing tools costing you time and money?
This is where Software Asset Management (SAM) comes in. Software asset management is critical for small to medium-sized businesses as it streamlines compliance, reduces costs, and optimizes your software inventory. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what software asset management is, why it’s important for your business, and how you can implement it effectively.
What is Software Asset Management?
Software asset management is the process of identifying, tracking, and optimizing the use of software within an organization. SAM encompasses the deployment, usage, and inventory of software, as well as the maintenance and disposal of software assets, and plays an important role in your wider IT asset management strategy.
Software asset management identifies what software is installed, where it is used, and by whom. It also involves monitoring software costs, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements, and eliminating redundant software.
Why Do We Need Software Asset Management?
Wondering if you need to implement SAM in your organization? Here are 6 reasons to implement software asset management:
Ensuring compliance with software licensing agreements is crucial to avoid costly legal disputes. SAM helps organizations track software usage and ensure compliance with licensing agreements.
2. Cost savings
SAM can reduce software costs by identifying and eliminating unnecessary software licenses. It can also help organizations negotiate better deals with vendors by providing accurate data on software usage.
3. Inventory management
Today, up to 29% of IT organizations spend excess hours trying to reconcile inventory and assets or dealing with out-of-warranty policies. SAM helps organizations keep track of software inventory to ensure software is used efficiently. This can help reduce the risk of software under-utilization or misuse.
4. Increased visibility
Software asset management provides increased visibility into your software assets, allowing you to make informed decisions about software usage and costs. By performing regular software audits, businesses can ensure they are aware of all software assets, and their corresponding licensing agreements
5. Software Optimization
SAM helps businesses optimize their software usage by identifying underutilized or redundant software and eliminating it. This can save costs and improve organizational performance and productivity.
Software asset management is an important aspect of IT security. By keeping track of software assets and keeping them up to date, businesses can reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities and breaches.
How to Implement Software Asset Management
Getting started with SAM can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to implement software asset management in three simple steps:
To start, you will need to assess your current position and plan the scope of your SAM program, team, and budget. Take an initial inventory of your current software assets.
2. Define Requirements
Define your processes for software requests, procurement, and deployment. Then, you can begin to focus on processes for maintenance, redeployment, and retirement.
3. Launch Processes
Build out your required processes and plan for future audits and iterations. Create any templates your team may need and put together your SAM policy.
To ensure smooth implementation, it is best to have these tasks handled by a software asset manager. This person will oversee the implementation and management of SAM within the organization.
What Does a Software Asset Manager Do?
A software asset manager plays a crucial role in the implementation and management of SAM within an organization. A software asset manager’s responsibilities include:
Identify software assets and track their usage
One of the primary roles of a software asset manager is to audit and track all software assets. This includes identifying all software installed on company devices, determining where it is used and by whom, and monitoring its usage. This information is then used to manage software inventory and costs.
Ensure compliance with software licensing agreements
In addition to tracking software usage, a software asset manager also plays a critical role in ensuring compliance with software licensing agreements. They are responsible for reviewing and interpreting software license agreements, identifying any potential compliance issues, and working to resolve them.
Manage software inventory and costs
Managing software inventory and costs is another important responsibility of a software asset manager. They are responsible for keeping track of software licenses and ensuring they are used and renewed efficiently. This includes identifying and eliminating unnecessary software licenses, negotiating better deals with software vendors, and implementing cost-saving measures.
Report on software usage and costs
Finally, a software asset manager is responsible for providing regular audit reports on software usage and costs. These reports help to provide visibility into software assets and can be used to make informed decisions about future software requirements.
Develop a software asset management policy
A software asset manager plays a critical role in developing and implementing a software asset management policy. They work to create a comprehensive policy that outlines how software is acquired, deployed, and tracked, as well as procedures for compliance, cost management, and inventory management.
What is a Software Asset Management Policy?
A software asset management policy is a set of guidelines for how an organization manages its software assets. A SAM policy should include details on how software is acquired, deployed, and tracked, as well as procedures for compliance, cost management, and inventory management.
A clear and comprehensive SAM policy can protect organizations from litigation, prevent unintentional overuse of licenses, and control the use of shadow software. As part of your software asset management policy, it is also recommended to document appropriate software usage guidelines for employees.
All of Your Software Managed in One Place
Software asset management is an integral part of IT management in small to medium-sized businesses. However, keeping track of a growing business’s assets can be a challenge. If you need help with centralized IT management for your organization, get in touch with Electric today. Our user-friendly platform streamlines time-consuming IT tasks, and provides increased visibility into the health of your IT infrastructure.